17/10/2017: Bottlenose dolphins and Atlantic grey seals

2hr survey. Start time 09:00
Weather conditions: sunny/overcast, sea state 4/3, wind direction SW
11 bottlenose dolphins were seen during this survey, split between two groups. Nothing was seen for the first half hour, then 2 dolphins were seen out past the cardinal buoy. Another group was then seen foraging to the left if the cardinal buoy, consisting of 4 adults and a calf. This group was then joined by another mother and calf to make a group of seven, which came in a little closer to the harbour wall to forage, whilst the first pair of dolphins moved closer to the cardinal buoy and displayed active leaping behaviour. For the final 45 minutes of the survey, the dolphins appeared to swap between these groups and constantly move around the bay, ending with five foraging and mingling around the cardinal marker, and a group of two showing fast circling and leaps further out beyond the cardinal marker.

 

2hr survey. Start time 11:00
Weather conditions: Sunny, sea state 3/2, wind direction SW
A total of 14 bottlenose dolphins and 1 Atlantic grey seal were seen during this survey. It started with two groups of three foraging and leaping near the cardinal buoy, which then grew to a total of 8 dolphins (including one calf). The dolphins then moved closer to the harbour wall, so nine dolphins (including 3 calves) were spread out between the wall and the marker buoy foraging or leaping. During this time an Atlantic grey seal was also seen halfway between New Quay head and the marker buoy. The seal then moved closer to the harbour wall, while the dolphins moved further out again; one group of 3 foraged halfway between the headland and the buoy, while a total of 8 foraged or showed fast circling around the marker buoy, and a group of 3 foraged and leaped far out beyond the buoy. In the second half of the survey, just 5 dolphins were seen foraging around the marker buoy, and the group of 3 continued to forage halfway between the headland and the buoy. This group was then joined by a calf and one other adult. For the final half hour, the seal was seen close to the wall, and 5 dolphins were seen foraging around the marker buoy, which then dropped down to just 2 which moved out closer to the headland.

 
2hr survey. Start time 13:00
Weather conditions: Sunny, sea state 2, wind direction NW
Nothing was seen for the first half hour of this survey, then a group of three bottlenose dolphins showed fast circling and leaping behaviour close to the marker buoy, while 2 foraged much further out and to the left. This pair remained there while the group of three moved to forage halfway between the marker buoy and the headland. In the second half of the survey, a group of 5 dolphins travelled west from beyond the marker buoy, and a group of 4 (including one calf) slowly circled at the surface about 400m in front of the harbour wall. These 2 groups then joined up, swam a big loop around the bay, and then continued travelling west. The group of nine then swam past the headland and left the survey area, so nothing was seen in the last 15 minutes.

 
2hr survey. Start time 15:00
Weather conditions: Fair, sea state 1/2, wind direction SW/W
No sightings.